Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On Paper

We've had more snow in our area, just over the last week, than I can ever remember having in one stretch over the years. It's a lot of snow, a lot of cold, the need to think about when you're going where, and what you have on hand in case you can't go.

I just got off the phone with my mom, and we talked about those things. About how, because we're to get yet more of this white stuff, a trip to the store for supplies and such is gonna be necessary.

Toilet paper. I need toilet paper and I have to write that down, I said, because I don't want to be snowed in without any.

Which led to a discussion about what if you did run out of it while in a snowstorm, what then? What if you have no Puffs, no Kleenex (or have worked your way through them)?

Paper towels? Too scratchy. Maxi pads? Perhaps, but try talking my husband into that.

Hmm... Fabric would work, though. Say you have flannel sheets tucked away, haven't been used in years. Grab some scissors, cut into squares. And there you have it.

And there it was, the swift realization that one of my characters (in a current WIP) will go through this predicament. She'll be home, alone, snowed in. And she has nothing. But ta-da! A stray thought that, yeah, just might work, will work. It'll be a small scene, and I can already see it building. It'll fit with things, with the story, so well.

My mom, as I blabbered all this in her ear, was quiet. Like why-would-you-put-that-in-your-book quiet.

Stuff like that just doesn't convey well when you share it with others. I'm sure she didn't know how to respond. Maybe she couldn't imagine it.

But I can. Oh, I can. And it'll be great on paper.

33 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

Open the door and use snow. It had to feel rather refreshing and it won't clog the toilets.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Yes, it will be great on paper!

Overseas, tp is an extravagance. You have to take it with you because you're guaranteed not to have it in a public restroom. I've been in some interesting situations where there was no tp and I had to... hmm... be creative. :0)

Kristi Faith said...

Oh yes, I get those look a LOT. Probably because I open my mouth too many times to say, "That would be a great story/scene/conflict/person in a book!!"

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Try leaves that are still hanging from the trees? Old newspapers and magazine pages? An icicle? LOL!!! I can't imagine not having my favorite soft to the butt...oops...touch toilet paper!!

Love your idea for your story. It's fun to read the unexpected happening to your character and then to read how they resolve the situation.

Susan R. Mills said...

Really funny. Only it did happen to me. Lucky for me, I have friendly neighbors who were kind enough to give up one of their cherished rolls of Charmin. I think it would be great in a story. Go for it. Those non-writer types just don't get it. :)

dirtywhitecandy said...

How about instead of an old flannel sheet, some really hideous table napkins inflicted on her by her partner's ex? This predicament could be very satisfying indeed.

destrella said...

You had me at toilet paper. Anything involving a bathroom, and I'm there! :O)

Nadine said...

LOL - This put a smile on my face.

Tamika: said...

One of a kind scene! Definitely great on paper!

Sharla said...

oooh I like what dirtywhitecandy said about the napkins. Some kind of subtle revenge on items from his ex or a horrible motherinlaw... or a teeshirt! A teeshirt his exgirlfriend gave him.

Listen to me...I don't even know your story and I'm babbling myself right into it. Hmmm. And now I'm laughing because I just came up with a scene for mine. Thanks Janna!! LOL

Journaling Woman said...

Oh yeah great on paper- toliet paper.

Hey when I was a kid, we lived way out in the country. When we ran out of t-paper we used old catalogs. I kid you not.

When I hear a snow storm is on its way, I don't care if I have food, but I do make sure I have toliet paper.

Melissa Marsh said...

Love this! And yes, it always sounds weird, but it reads wonderfully!

scarlethue said...

I can see how this would work. I really like the revenge idea too.

JLC said...

Great post! I love the ending "on paper" and the title. :D In regards to the content, I often think about what people did before TP was invented. I believe cloths were used too. (Off to Google it)

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Funny post! I'm so fed up with my WiP's right now that I may consider contributing them to "the cause" :)

Jill said...

That makes me laugh, but that's exactly the kind of thing we writers think about. The endless "what if..." and running through various scenarios in our minds. And those kinds of things make great scenes in books!

Kaylie said...

Sometimes life ends up in our books in funny ways. Like the time I "discovered" a computer virus, and I thought that would be a great predicament for my main characters and their homework.

Karen said...

Isn't that how imagination works--jumping off reality?? I laughted thinking about that in your book. I can't imagine that much snow. We stockpile for hurricanes, but it's not cold. Brrrrr....

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Ah, Janna. Your thought process shows how daily life can inspire our writing.

Thanks for a fun post.

Happy New Year,
Susan :)

lakeviewer said...

Well, you can, but must you? You can leave it to the imagination.

Slamdunk said...

Funny topic. I think that is one problem, if it really happened, that I would survive with whatever and never ever let it happen again.

I hope you have a happy New Year!

Patti Lacy said...

Is this the too much information comment some people make?

Then the next reader ADORES that "cute little sentence."

Go figure.

Love reading your blog and getting to know you cyberstyle!
Happy New Year!

Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Need More Words said...

I chuckled through this and the comments from your readers.
Diane

Carol J. Garvin said...

At our remote cabin there's always an over abundance of toilet paper because everyone that arrives there brings along a huge package of it just in case no one else thought of it.

This was such fun to read! I also had to check out your link and laughed out loud at the last sentence there! Some days it's just so hard to focus, focus, focus....

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL LOve your train of thought and everyone else's too! I think that will be a fun scene:) Sorry about all your snow--but---I don't want it here.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

HILARIOUS! Mothers DO wonder about some of the things we write.

Happy, happy 2010 and keep on writing!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

LeSan said...

Well Jana I came over here to wish you a very Happy New Year but I see you are still working on cleaning up last year. Stock up, next year will be better. LOL

Personally I appreciate that you thought of this detail. I always get annoyed when authors ignore these real life things. The questions sit in the back of my mind and distract me until I lose interest in the book.
There are a wealth of things she could try and a host of problems to be created for our modern plumbing. I will look forward to what your character comes up with. I know there are some writers who might repurpose a book or two in that situation. I have a few on my own list.

JOY said...

Happy New Year Janna! I love reading what you write. You are a gifted wordsmith! I look forward to more. Blessings! xx

Capri K said...

Your thought process amuses me!

It is a personal goal of mine to NEVER run out of toilet paper. I STOCKPILE.
I would be like a postman, and brave rain, sleet and snow to restock that precious resource!

Deb Shucka said...

What a great story! Looking forward to reading this scene someday.

Michelle Gregory said...

you just never know where a story idea will come from, but that one is the most interesting i've ever heard of.

i surfed over from A Walk in my Shoes. i'll have to come back when i have more time.

septembermom said...

That is definitely good material :)

Work with what you have at hand. It can bring out some terrific creativity.

Melanie Avila said...

I love that idea! I agree about non-writers not quite getting it. I shared my new premise (which I still don't have a plot for) with my grandmother and she did that same "quiet" thing.